Thus says the Lord:
Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals
and make mere flesh their strength,
whose hearts turn away from the Lord.
They shall be like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see when relief comes.
They shall live in the parched places of the wilderness,
in an uninhabited salt land.
Blessed are those who trust in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
They shall be like a tree planted by water,
sending out its roots by the stream.
It shall not fear when heat comes,
and its leaves shall stay green;
in the year of drought it is not anxious,
and it does not cease to bear fruit.
Psalm 1:1-4, 6
Happy are those
who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
or sit in the seat of scoffers;
but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law they meditate day and night.
They are like trees
planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
1 Corinthians 15:12, 16-20
Brothers and sisters:
If Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died.
Luke 6:17, 20-26
He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon.
Then he looked up at his disciples and said:
Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
“Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
“But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
“Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
“Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.
“Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.
If you’ve ever been excluded, hated, or reviled for God’s sake, you know it is not a good feeling. When you are a Christian, poverty of spirit, hunger for justice and mourning of sin, makes you feel close to God. But when people defame you, you take time to think. Could I really be in the right when people feel so strongly against me? What did I do wrong? Could I have done something better? After all, we want people to accept our witness and receive what we tell them about the Lord.
If we reexamine ourselves, we have to admit that we get in trouble with people when we realize we cannot compromise. We must share when we know the truth. We must share the best gift that we have: our faith. If we are impassioned for Christ, we will be bold and unafraid to admonish others of sin, to correct the wrong, to counsel for repentance and invite others to follow the Lord.
We may think it is common for people to take a stand for truth and fearlessly proclaim the Word of God, but in reality, it is for those who have no fear of what humans can or will do to them. It is for those who will not enable anyone to persevere in their error. It is only for those who will face the wrath of the proud and the power-hungry. These people will receive the greatest reward because they have proven their love of neighbor by risking their own reputation and esteem.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to put my trust in you and not to fear what man can do to me. May I always be guided to speak the truth in love , especially when it is unpopular so that perchance, I may draw others into your Kingdom. Amen